We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.


We look after many of the nation’s canals and rivers as well as rivers such as the Severn, the Trent and the Yorkshire Ouse. To keep or use a boat on them you need a licence.

Why your boat needs a licence

Our precious 200 year old, 2,000 mile network of canals and rivers needs a lot of TLC to keep it in a condition for boaters and the public to continue using and enjoying. We rely on boaters for a significant amount of our funding to maintain the waterways, which we raise through licence and mooring fees.

Other waterways

The Environment Agency runs the River Thames, the River Medway, and the rivers of East Anglia.

The Broads Authority runs the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.

For Scottish waterways visit www.scottishcanals.co.uk.

Last date edited: 14 February 2017